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Journal News Endorses Kavesh

by Cliff Weathers

In South Nyack we have a wonderful mayor in Tish DuBow. She’s the most accessible and trustworthy public servant you could wish for at the village level. If you’ve got a question or a problem, she’ll be glad to come by and talk to you about it. Even if she disagrees with you, she’s always glad to hear from you. Her agenda is never hidden, she doesn’t play groups of people against each other, and she’s not afraid to make tough and sometimes unpopular choices. She does much more than administrate and legislate, Tish advocates for the village.

I see similar qualities in Richard Kavesh. Any candidate can and will say that they’re willing to listen, but Richard actually puts his phone number and email address right on his campaign literature. He gets dozens of phone calls and emails a day and you’ll never find yourself waiting too long for a response. If anybody has any doubts that Richard would be a Mayor for all of Nyack, just take look at the openness, energy, and depth of his candidacy.

Richard believes the most gratifying part of being a Village Trustee is constituent services. I’ve seen it as he’s been there for the least among Nyack’s residents in the past, and I firmly believe Richard would continue to do so as Mayor.

I believe that Village government extremely important, and this vote should not be taken lightly by Nyack’s residents. This is especially true in a full-service village such as Nyack where there are many important issues, with property taxes, sidewalks, Memorial Park, downtown development, and parking among them. Different interest groups will weigh these issues differently, but I think it will take a Mayor that will act as first as an advocate to be able balance and prioritize them.

So I was happy to see, last week, that the editorial board of the Journal News concured with me in saying:

Nyack can’t wait. We hope a renewed Village Board, led by Kavesh, will make more thoughtful yet quicker decisions.

I know Richard best from our hard work together on the Barack Obama campaign and his role as an active member of our organization, the Rockland Progressive Democratic Caucus (or Progressive Dems for short). The organization is a large independent group of activists from across the county that work for progressive ideals (or as Richard unabashedly prefers to call them, liberal ideals). The Progressive Dems were co-sponsors of the Health Care for All Rally last month at Memorial Park and 12 of our members, including Richard, helped work on that event. Richard was also there, along with Trustee Marie Lorenzini and several other Nyack residents, when the Progressive Dems became the first political organization to endorse Thom Kleiner for County Executive.

The Progressive Dems’ mission was plain from the start, we see ourselves as a transparent counter to the backroom, machine politics of the Rockland County Democratic Committee. We have fiercely fought against the old-boy network of the Democratic Committee in order to support only those candidates that are uncompromising in their progressive values. Richard has been a strong independent and liberal voice in our organization. And believe me, unlike some of the innuendo and accusations you’ve heard on NNV and elsewhere, both of us are far from being part of any political “machine.”

I also want to remind people how selfless Richard can be. Richard was given the endorsement of the Working Families Party for Nyack Mayor. At the time, the Working Families Party refused to endorse Thom Kleiner for County Executive and instead put up their own spoiler candidate. Richard told the Working Families Party that he’d rather lose the votes on their line. He didn’t want his position on their line dissuade voters for voting for Thom. Richard was right to do so, as these associative voting patterns are proven to have real effects on the outcome of parallel races, especially in New York where we have fusion politics.

And I think it says a lot about a candidate his principles far outweigh the votes he receives. When the values of a political organization ran counter to his fundamental underpinnings, he chose his principles above the party.

Richard is running on Row A with a line of candidates, including Thom Kleiner, Suzanne Barclay, Robert Knoebel, Jen White, and Doug Foster. That roster is Rockwellian in its integrity would make any progressive citizen proud.

I know that I am an outsider, living in South Nyack, but I am by no means a carpetbagger. What is good for Nyack is good for all the adjacent river villages and hamlets. Like other non-residents of Nyack who have weighed in on this race, I feel vested in its outcome.

Richard Kavesh would make a fine Mayor of Nyack, one that the villagers can be proud of.

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